Friday, July 4, 2014


The news media really downplayed the Metrolink Blue Flu today.  That's usually a good sign.  It means the union is getting visible public support and the Ole Boy Network has made the proper phone calls to media station managers and senior editors.

Of course, it appeared that not nearly as many people attended Fare St. Louis in Forest Park than had been anticipated, and also that fewer Fare-goers used Metrolink than expected.

This did force them to lower that $30 parking price tag to $20.  Maybe that kept a lot of people away.  The local government, in keeping with the state and federal government, has been doing a fine job of making plain that constituents are just cash cows to be milked at every opportunity.  Land of the free indeed.

You know, they could have made public transit free today.  Even if you don't ride it, you pay for it.  That would have been a true gesture of celebration and thanks.  And probably attracted a lot of new riders.

The city leaders are walking on eggshells right now.  The spike in violence and crime in the poorest areas of the city are always harbingers of larger problems, about to boil over.  The government is broke, but they won't raise taxes on corporations, or any of the other necessary changes.

One thing I found myself musing on, as I watched the parade on television, is how lackluster the parade seemed going through the park.  Not just the sparse attendance.  It just didn't strike the same response as seeing the same marching bands and floats glide down the streets of downtown.

Part of what makes a parade so exciting is the way it takes over and transforms the ordinary streets.  I wonder if Saint Louisans won't feel a emptiness, a need to fill the streets?

I think the city leaders, for their own sake, should have kept the parade downtown.  Parades, in times of strife, are "demonstrations by proxy".

The Metrolink operators deserve our support.  They are fighting for their union, their pensions, and their pay.  We should all join them in securing those things for ourselves.  We can start by calling Metro and telling them we support the drivers, and demanding they negotiate a new contract.

And we need to demand a few "Fare Free" days a year for the city.

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